There are angels among us

(Photo via pixabay.com)

“I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours, to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with a light of love.

Helen Keller

There are angels among us. Of this I am certain. They look like you, they look like me. They are the people who lift us up when we need it most (and sometimes even when we don’t realize that we need uplifting). A smiling glance, a friendly wink, some sage words of advice, a random (or not so random) act of kindness…  these have the power to make someone’s day or month or maybe even change someone’s life.

So, as long as we are able to breathe, think, and feel … there is hope.  In this, the holy season of  love and kindness, most of us experience a heightened awareness of how truly precious our family and friends are to us.  It’s not that we take them for granted throughout the rest of the year.  But, in the spirit of the season, we stop and take pause … and give thanks.

As we count our blessings this holiday season, please remember that there are millions and millions of people – around the world – who are hungry, homeless, displaced, discouraged and lonely.

In this, the season of giving, please do what you can to help a neighbor, a stranger, a family in your community. Consider donating food, clothing, blankets and toys to your local missions. If you can, help out at your local food bank. Perhaps you could share your Christmas feast with someone less fortunate. If you dine in restaurants, think of giving your leftovers (that you would normally take home and maybe throw away a day later) to the homeless man or woman huddled on the sidewalk. Don’t pass them by, averting your face. Show them compassion and grace.

Be an angel.

Kindness… pass it on.

May the true spirit of the holiday season fill your hearts and homes with many blessings.

– heatherfromthegrove xo

(Photo via pixabay.com)

 

 

For it is in Giving that we Receive

homeless

(Photo Credit: by Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA (Helping the homeless  Uploaded by Gary Dee)  via Wikimedia Commons)

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

As we count our blessings this holiday season, please remember that there are millions and millions of people – around the world – who are hungry, homeless, displaced, discouraged and lonely.

In this, the season of giving, please do what you can to help a neighbor, a stranger, a family in your community.

Donate food, clothing, blankets and toys to your local missions.  Help out at your local food bank. Share your Christmas feast with someone less fortunate.

If you dine in restaurants, give your leftovers (that you would normally take home) to the homeless man or woman huddled on the sidewalk. Don’t pass them by, averting your face.  Show them compassion.

Spread a little Hope and Kindness.

After all, this is the season of Light… is it not?

May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your hearts and homes with many blessings.  Remember to take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. I wish you, dear readers, much happiness today and throughout the New Year.

Blessings and Warmest Wishes,

heatherfromthegrove

 

The Season of Giving

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“For it is in giving that we receive.” 
 Francis of Assisi

As we count our blessings this holiday season, please remember that there are millions and millions of people – around the world – who are hungry, homeless, displaced, discouraged and lonely.

In this, the season of giving, please do what you can to help a neighbor, a stranger, a family in your community.

Donate food, clothing, blankets and toys to your local missions.  Help out at your local food bank. Share your Christmas feast with someone less fortunate.

If you dine in restaurants, give your leftovers (that you would normally take home) to the homeless man or woman huddled on the sidewalk. Don’t pass them by, averting your face.  Show them compassion.

Spread a little Hope and Kindness.

After all, this is the season of Light… is it not?

May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your hearts and homes with many blessings.  Remember to take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. I wish you, dear readers, much happiness today and throughout the New Year.

Blessings and Warmest Wishes,

heatherfromthegrove

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Charles Dickens

Holiday Greetings from heatherinthegrove

 

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” 

— Agnes M. Pharo

From my home to yours, I wish you all the blessings of the holiday season.  May you savour your feast, revel in the company of those you love most, and bow your head in thanks for all the goodness in your life.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Warmest Wishes,

Heather

 

 

Photo:  Copyright © 2013 by Heather Joan Marinos. All Rights Reserved.

In Search of Mayberry

When I was growing up, we lived in a community where doors were kept unlocked at night and windows were left wide open (to let the brisk, cool air in).  There was never a fleet of SUVs and cars in front of the elementary and middle schools.  As children, we used to walk the few blocks (or take the school bus) to go to school. There were no predators lying in wait.  Neighbors knew their neighbors.  When a family was going through a tragedy or rough time, the neighbors – and, indeed, the entire community – got together and would rally around and offer their kindness and support. Police officers and sheriffs protected us as fiercely as family, if the need arose (although these crises happened so rarely back then).  In our neighborhood, these men in blue or brown lived among us, friends to our parents,  their children were our buddies.

Back then, the internet did not exist.  No one worried about things like identity theft or hackers.  There was less room for “he said”, “she said” scenarios.  Everyone knew where the lines in the sand were drawn.  Everything was much less complicated.

Does Mayberry exist?  Or, is it indeed a fictional place,  immortalized in a television show?

Recent events in my life have made me skeptical. And distressed.  If you read my “Neighborly Love” blog  (March 28, 2013), you will learn about the horrible burglary that occurred on our property just before Easter.  Recently, we were informed by our dear neighbors (who, sadly, are always the unfortunate bearers of bad news) that the same thieves have struck again… but, this time, they have become more sophisticated, more organized…. assuming our identity.   Our neighbors (who are community-minded, compassionate, and fiercely loyal) rallied on our behalf – once again.  Since we live at the other end of the country and couldn’t handle this crisis in person, they tried to keep the thieves from removing a vehicle from our property.  The authorities were called to the scene and our neighbors were harshly admonished for getting involved.  It appears that the authorities were believing the authenticity of the thieves’ story and fake documentation.

This would not have happened in Mayberry.

Thank goodness, there was enough “reasonable doubt” to make the authorities pause and take note.  The battle of “he said”, “she said” still continues.  I am determined to keep the Grinch from stealing Christmas.  Not another spoiled holiday.  Not again.  This has to stop.

To the thieves:  You will be caught. Maybe not today, or tomorrow. Maybe sometime next year. But you will be apprehended and brought to justice, for preying on people in our neighborhood and God knows how many other neighborhoods.

To the authorities:  We realize that today’s society has made all of us somewhat jaded.  We and our neighbors are not the bad guys.  Please leave no stone unturned.  These thieves are organized. And they are laughing at all of us, as they sell our tools, valuables, household items and vehicles.  They are preying on our weaknesses and absence.  They are smirking as they assume our identities, through falsified documents.  They are making a mockery of all of us. This ring of thieves needs to be stopped.

To our neighbors: As people of faith, we bow our heads to God, in gratitude for having neighbors such as yourselves. Your integrity, compassion and perseverance are inspiring, and humbling.  It makes me believe in the possibility of finding Mayberry.  And when we do find that small, communal town, we hope that you will move there as well.

After all, isn’t it the neighbors who make Mayberry what it is?

Christmas Blessings,

Heather

(Picture taken in 2005)

Holiday wishes from heatherfromthegrove

Christmas palm tree

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”  — Agnes M. Pharo

From my home to yours, I wish you all the blessings of the holiday season.  May you savour your feast, revel in the company of those you love most, and bow your head in thanks for all the goodness in your life.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Warmest Wishes,

Heather

 

Giving thanks and praise

HopefulFaceSilhouette

As long as we are able to breathe, think, and feel … there is hope.  In this, the holy season of  love and kindness, most of us experience a heightened awareness of how truly precious our family and friends are to us.  It’s not that we take them for granted throughout the rest of the year.  But, in the spirit of the season, we stop and take pause … and give thanks.

In 2012, a lot of very dear people in my life have navigated their way through a turbulent year — scary surgical procedures, illnesses,  financial hardship, death (of a family member or friend), divorce, and recurring cancer of one type or another.  All of them — despite some daunting challenges — have managed to reach the end of the year with their sanity (and life) still intact.  We humans are a remarkably resilient race!

To them — and to you, dear readers —  I raise my festive glass of mulled wine in celebration of their (and your) strength and grace.  Santé! 

ABOVE THE CLOUDS  (by W. Taylor Hammond)

Above the clouds the sun is ever shining

While sunbeams vie to make the heavens glow

The eagle soars aloft on wings reclining,

While tempest rages violently below.

 

She knows her place of rest above the thunder

For eagles wings are taught of God to rise

Above the clouds to feel the glorious wonder

Of everlasting calm amid the skies.

 

So may it be with you in sorrow

As storms of grief and trial weave their shrouds

There is a place of refuge for the morrow—-

You’ll find it if you rise above the clouds

 

Above the clouds—-I mean of earth’s repining—

The child of faith may rise on eagle’s wings

To find the Sun of Righteousness e’er shining

And peace transcending all these earthly things.

 

 

Image from calgarypsychology.com.

Coming soon …

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While all my neighbors have beautifully decorated their homes with festive Christmas lights and wreaths, my house remains in darkness.  This is very uncharacteristic of me, since I am usually seen — precariously standing up on a ladder (with whimsical outdoor tree ornaments strewn everywhere)  — the day after Thanksgiving.  Not this year.  My neighbors have been glancing quizzically at me, wondering if something is terribly wrong.  They don’t know that I’m spending most of my time on my book —which I will  finish by the 21st.  So, if I need to look like Ebenezer Scrooge for a few weeks, so be it.

When the book is done, my neighbors will be stunned.  My house will be lit like the Las Vegas strip!  I will be singing the Hallelujah Chorus at the top of my lungs!  That is, if  I get my voice back.

Until then ….